The San Antonio Spurs are well-rested and fresh off a resounding victory over the shorthanded Milwaukee Bucks, giving them plenty of momentum as they kick off a five-game Western Conference road trip. Their first stop is a matchup with Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, and though the reigning champs are reeling, you should never count them out.
The Silver and Black have overachieved on what was supposed to be one of the most brutal portions of their regular-season schedule, and they will look to return to .500 when they visit the Chase Center. Their success will hinge on Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, and their smooth motion offense, so buckle up for another challenging test against a playoff hopeful.
San Antonio Spurs (6-7) at Golden State Warriors (5-8)
November 14, 2022 | 9:00 PM CT
Watch: Bally Sports Southwest | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)
Spurs: Zach Collins (Out — Leg), Blake Wesley (Out — Knee), Malaki Branham (Out — Ankle), Romeo Langford (Out — Health and Safety Protocols), Dominick Barlow (Out — Two-Way)
Warriors: Andre Iguodala (Out — Hip), Patrick Baldwin Jr. (Game Time Decision — Back)
What To Watch For
- Golden State grappled with the Kings in a back-and-forth matchup that came down to the final possessions less than 24 hours ago. Meanwhile, the Spurs have enjoyed two nights off after dominating the shorthanded Bucks on Friday, which means the already spry legs of this young roster will be more rested and raring to go than usual. Despite Gregg Popovich and company entering this game as betting underdogs against the team with the best home record in the league since 2013, there is a legitimate possibility the reigning champions resort to load management to preserve their veteran stars on the last leg of a back-to-back. Even if the Warriors roll out their regular rotation, six of their last eight contests have been on the road, and the wear and tear from frequent flights are enough to leave anyone running on fumes. It wouldn’t be shocking if there is a noteworthy discrepancy in energy between these clubs, though desperation might be the thing that wakes up the dubs from their early-season slump.
- Steph Curry is off to a blistering start this season, with numbers that look like they came right out of NBA 2K. The two-time MVP has averaged 32.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 6.5 assists on .526/424/.918 shooting splits over his first 12 games, playing some of the best basketball of his career. While Curry is in an unbelievable rhythm on the heels of leading Golden State to their fourth title in eight years, his fellow Splash Brothers are stuck on the struggle bus. Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole have combined to shoot a pitiful 38.1% from the field, which has left the Warriors leaning on Steph to carry them past the finish line on a near-nightly basis. The dubs are 5-2 when their superstar point guard scores at least 33 points and 0-6 when he fails to reach that mark. Not that this needed to be said, but the Spurs’ best opportunity at walking away victorious is putting a lid on Chef Curry before he gets cooking. Thompson, Poole, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins are liable to cut loose for a massive performance if the defense hones in on Steph. San Antonio will probably be okay with that outcome if it means stalling the engine of the opposing offense.
- Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson have taken tremendous developmental leaps as scorers. Both players thrived running in transition, getting to their spots off dribble handoffs, and relocating on the perimeter for catch-and-shoot threes a season ago. While those areas have remained their primary means of putting points on the board, they have expanded their arsenal in their new roles as go-to options for the offense. An uptick in pick-and-roll responsibilities has highlighted their improved ballhandling while allowing them to work through the growing pains of their decision-making process. There are flashes of brilliance intertwined with head-scratching moments, and the ebbs and flows of the journey make every inch of progress worth watching amid a rebuild. Tonight could be another entertaining chapter in the evolution of Keldon and Vassell as they face a horrid Warriors defense that has given up the most points per game (119.2) in the NBA this season. Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, and Klay Thompson have the man-to-man discipline to bother almost anyone in the league, but communication will probably be more vital to the Warriors. San Antonio’s burgeoning stars get the bulk of their buckets within the natural flow of the motion offense, and if Steve Kerr can’t get his guys on the same page, Spurs fans might be in for another explosive performance from their leading men.